Ten days ago, a cold front made its way from Siberia to North America. With freezing temperatures in her luggage, she is now providing severe weather warnings in the American Midwest. There is talk of a "storm that only occurs once in a generation".
A winter storm could upset the Christmas plans of millions of Americans: an arctic cold front that only "occurs once in a generation" is currently moving east from the American Midwest. Airlines advise all travelers to be prepared for delays and cancellations. Countless drivers are likely to be on their way to the Christmas party with their families from the storm.
The US Weather Service (NWS) warns of "record-breaking cold and life-threatening wind gusts" spreading from the Rocky Mountains to the eastern half of the United States. In some areas, temperatures can drop to as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius. According to the NWS experts, damage to the infrastructure and massive disruptions to air and road traffic are to be expected.
According to the private weather forecasting service AccuWeather, the storm could quickly intensify into a bomb cyclone due to the so-called bomb arch. In the Bombbogenesis, a very cold air mass meets a very warm one. Within 24 hours, the air pressure drops by more than 24 hectopascals (hPa). A huge storm ensues. The name is intended to express the danger that emanates from these storm fronts.
In the USA, the very cold air comes from Siberia, where temperatures of less than minus 60 degrees were recorded ten days ago. The low-pressure area passed Alaska via the Chukchi Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, and landed in Canada. With temperatures of a good minus 50 degrees, it has been moving south through the Canadian territories of Yukon and Northwest Territories towards the Midwest of the USA and the Rocky Mountains in the past few days.
After arrival, the temperature in Denver, the capital of the US state of Colorado, dropped from plus 10 degrees Celsius to minus 25 degrees Celsius within a day. In Boulder, also in Colorado, the weather service NWS warns against leaving the house. If you absolutely have to go outside, you should put on several layers of clothing and take regular breaks to warm up, they say.
In the US state of New York, the weather service NWS also warns – of a “storm that only occurs once in a generation”. Accordingly, gusts of wind of more than 105 kilometers per hour and temperatures well below freezing are possible. Isolated or possibly large-scale power outages are to be expected. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the NWS spoke of a "life-threatening" phenomenon that should be taken seriously.